Dusk Diver (Nintendo Switch)

Dusk Diver is the debut console game by JFI Games. While looking much like the flavour of the month, is there enough taste to keep you enjoying this or is it a passable snack? 

Dusk Diver is set in the Ximending area of Taipei & it’s spiritual chaotic mess of a counterpart Youshanding. Dusk Diver puts you in the boots of a young girl called Yumo who while shopping with her best friend gets pulled into a battle between gods and chaos in Youshanding.

Yumo is as you would expect a protagonist for an anime based adventure game, she’s feisty, full of questions and a joy to see develop through the game. The main issue with the narrative and character development with Dusk Diver is actually getting it out of the gate. 

The initial first hours of Dusk Divers are hard going, there is a decent bit of technobabble, bit too much dialogue and not much of it seems well written or interesting. Fortunately the story & its writing does pick up and tell story captivating enough to see you through.

Graphically Dusk Divers is a fantastic looking title for the Nintendo Switch. It’s wonderfully vibrant, the city of Ximending is an utter joy to look at and stands up well with its peers in Akiba and Tokyo Mirage. 

Character models are brilliantly anime, the main character is designed as well as you would expect a quirky “average” city girl to be and the monster designs aren’t too shabby either. There is a lack of variety within the enemies and they do kick off an air of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance but this is the nature of the beast being a “beat em up”.

The music is infectious as you would expect from looking at the title, itll have you toe tapping throughout the title and then some. Voice acting is also really good here, not every character is equal but for the most part you won’t hear any complaints from me about the quality of the V.A.

Onto the gameplay, Dusk Divers is a Beat Em Up/Hack & Slash with RPG elements, like Persona, Akiba’s Trip and Warriors/Musou had a really good looking child. 

You roam around the city, talking to characters, completing fetch quests, buying items and clothing and finding collectables, certain locations and character progress the main narrative, once this is done you can find yourself in a main mission. 

The main missions are where the combat hits, you’re thrown into the dimension Youshanding and have plenty of nasties to meet the tip of your knuckles. You get various guardians who act as special attacks with just a hint of Jojo. 

Combat boils down to weak and strong attacks forming combos, a dodge attack which if done at the right time slows time down & a meter which when built allows you to transform into a much more powerful version of yourself. 

While fighting the hordes of spiritual nasties trying to destroy reality you’ll also be doing some platforming sections and hunting down Dragon Veil Crystals, the latter being more important than the game will let on!. 

The lack of stuff to do in the city & the speed repetition kicks in does hamper the game somewhat, it’s not a total killer but it is a shame considering the effort put into the city to explore. The levels do offer little distractions from the button mashing combat but once again it’s not quite as engaging as it should but and this is in part to how samey the enemies are. 

Dusk Divers is a fantastic title that anyone with an interest in brawlers, anime and OTT colourful visuals should take a look at, the pacing does get knocked due to how important certain collectables are to your progress but it still remains a fantastic title. We did notice a few issues with the text displaying errors and the sound not playing correctly but overall minor issues that didn’t affect enjoyment of the title.

The game ran brilliantly both docked and handheld on the Nintendo Switch and it was a nice addition to the library, especially since the titles it closely resembles aren’t out yet or announced for the platform. 

Dusk Divers is one of the shinier hidden gems of 2019, it offers some satisfying anime battling in a fantastic setting with some fantastic high points. While it doesn’t fire on all cylinders all of the time, when it does, it shows it’s more than worthy of your time and money. 

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